Vintage Suitcase Turned Kitty Bed...Easy DIY (no sew!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Last night I whipped up this sweet little kitty bed for Oliver using a vintage suitcase I found on the side of the road in my neighborhood last year. I used fabric and embellishments I already had on hand and the best part was there was no sewing involved (unless you make a pillowcase...but you can use one you already have). In addition to your fabric and trim the only tools you really need are fabric scissors, measuring tape, hot glue gun with glue sticks and an iron. The lining of my suitcase was an ugly mauve color so I decided to line the top part with some regular canvas fabric on the sides and a canvas print on the inside lid. These were some things I already had in my stash plus I figured the heavier canvas would withstand more pawing and clawing than a regular cotton fabric. 

 DIY Instructions 

 1)To cut for the main piece inside the lid just lay your fabric into the lid and be sure to smooth it nice and even and press your fabric around the edges and corners. Then take a pencil and run it all around the crease of the fabric. Then cut out your piece. 
 2)For the edges I measured the width of the lining that was already there and then I measured the length all around the edge so I could cut one continuous piece of fabric. I added a 1/2 to 3/4 inch to the width and length measurements so I could iron down the outer edges to keep it nice and neat. 
 3)My suitcase also had a fabric piece that connected the top and bottom of the suitcase so I measured and cut that piece as well. 
4)Iron down 1/4 inch on either end of your long strip of canvas as well as one long side (the side that will be on the outer edge of the lining). 
 5)Once You have your pieces cut and edges ironed simply use your hot glue gun to glue your fabric pieces in place. I did the outer edges first and then the main piece in the lid. My suitcase was tricky b/c there were several metal pieces I had to cut around so that part was the most difficult. However, not all suitcases have this issue so yours may be simpler.
 6)After gluing in your canvas pieces you can then hide the unfinished inner edge, where the edging fabric meets the lid fabric, by adding some trim. Green ric-rac is what I had on hand so that's what I used. Simply hot glue that into place. 
7)Add any other embellishments you want! My suitcase had a metal bar that I wasn't able to remove easily so I locked it into the upright position and added ribbon trim. Now I use that bar to hang toys and ribbons for my kitty to play with :)
8)To make the actual bed portion I just used an old standard sized pillow and made a pillowcase out of some polka dot cotton fabric I had on hand. If you don't sew you can use a pillowcase thats ready-made!

Well, I hope this inspires you to make your own pet bed! Email me if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help. Go get creative! Your pet will thank you :)

*Safety Note* Be sure that your lid is sturdy and will not close on your pet. My hinges are locked in place and are not going anywhere. Some suitcases may require additional steps to secure the lid in place!

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